Sunday, November 18, 2012
Omote 3D: The 21st Century Portrait
Posted by Jay at 8:57 AM
The advent of camera phones and affordable DSLRs have made portrait sessions a commonplace occurrence. Hiring a professional photographer is now reserved for more formal occasions such as weddings, and even then it's not unusual to ask a friend to just take pictures with his entry-level DSLR. The quality of the 21st century portrait is rapidly deteriorating. However, a new project in Tokyo is doing away with the traditional paper portrait in favor of miniature sculptures. These are the 3D printing results of Omote 3D.
Omote 3D Shashin Kan is a limited-edition exhibition in the Jingumae, Shibuya district of Tokyo run by the creativity group Party. For two months starting this November and through the use of a 3D scanner and 3D printer, the project will provide subjects the chance to have one of the most unique portraits ever: a 3D figurine of themselves.
Unlike a traditional photo portrait where a sitting may only take a few seconds, Omote 3D requires the subject to stay still for at least 15 minutes. This is because the subject's entire body must be scanned from different angles in order to get an accurate 3-dimensional representation. Different factors must then be taken into account, such as the color of the subject's skin and the texture of his clothes. The color printer will then try to create a copy of the subject as accurately as possible.
There are three sizes to choose from: Small at 10 cm (3.9 in) and 20 g (0.71 oz); Medium at 15 cm (5.9 in) and 50 g (1.76 oz); and Large at 20 cm (7.9 in) and 200 g (7.05 oz). These mini-models aren't cheap though. The smallest sculpture costs ¥ 21,000 (US$ 260) while the largest model comes at ¥ 42,000 (US$ 520). Orders for three or more sculptures are eligible for discounted prices.
Interested parties in Tokyo may avail of this unique portrait sitting up to January 14, 2013. However, the studio only accepts commissions on appointment. A lot of the dates have already been fully booked, so make sure to make a reservation through the Omote 3D website to have a chance at owning a piece of this 21st century portrait.